Managing Disasters: Forming, Preparing and Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan

Contributed by Stephanie D. Hight

Disaster Management is a wide-ranging subject that encompasses disaster prevention, disaster management and disaster management control. The purpose of Disaster Recovery is to respond to disastrous events and to have a fully operational plan ready to be put into place. Disasters are something that an organization cannot afford to not be prepared for. As firms grow more dependant on uninterrupted information system functioning, disaster recovery is receiving increasing attention, and a growing number of organizations are beginning to engage in Disaster Recovery Planning. Preparing a Disaster Recovery Plan can be a daunting task for an Information Technology Department that has not had to think about recovering vital systems before. The Disaster Recovery Plan itself should be clear and concise and able to be understood at any level of knowledge. A key concern in the management of disaster recovery is that mistakes do not occur in the recovery phase. A realistic disaster exercise is where the disaster recovery team will gain the most mileage and make the most impact in a number of areas. Tests and exercises are vital sources of feedback and short of experiencing a real disaster they are the only way of ensuring that the recovery plan will work.

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